Sunday, April 3, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - April Fools!

I wanted to do an April Fools' Muffin Tin Meal, with healthy(ish) foods disguised as desserts and treats. Turns out, that's harder than you'd think. Google "April Fools food" and you'll get 1,345,739 bajillion desserts-looking-like-dinner recipes, but only, like, 3 going the other way. And I was soooo not in the mood to make meatloaf (cake) or mashed potatoes (ice cream) for lunch. Pretty much the only other idea was a gummy worm in an apple. Whoop-de-doo.
I already had my sandwich-roll-ups cupcakes idea... Even though I just used it last week. Just had to brainstorm 5 more! Ugh. I had some vague idea of trying to make Cheerios look like Spaghettios... Either with V8 or maybe cherry syrup? Which morphed into something completely different.

April Fool's Day Lunch
"Cheetos" (carrots,) Wormy berries, mini donuts (Cheerios,)
"Cupcakes" (sandwich roll-ups,) Noodle face, "Milk" (yogurt)
[*Check out Little Z's photo-documentary of the process. She now understands about pointing the camera at what she wants, that it's not just about pushing the button to hear the clicky sounds and flashing lights (I have about a million pictures of close-ups of her knees. And nose.) And that the digital doesn't have a viewfinder. So she now looks at the screen (instead of pressing the camera up to her face and shooting herself in the eye with the flash.) So these were all intentional pics!]

"Milk": I put her Greek honey yogurt in a cup with a straw, to look like milk.

"Cheetos": Don't ask me why, but the baggie of cheese sauce powder I buy in bulk was on my computer desk when I was sitting here brainstorming ideas. So I thought of rolling baby carrots in it to look like Cheetos. But we only had whole carrots. So not rounded on the ends. But Z didn't care. She LOVED dropping the carrots into the bag and rolling them around each other to even out the powder and knock off the loose powder. She was very excited about her "Carrot Cheetos."

Wormy Berries: I couldn't think of another way to incorporate a fruit fooler. So I had planned on using one of the small organic apples my husband had picked up at the farmer's market near his work, like the internet ideas suggested, and like I did last November. But the last 2 had gone bad and I just couldn't justify doing it just for the pictures. The other apples we had were gigantic. Seriously. Twice the circumference of the muffin liners! So, berries it is! The gummy worm was so old it was almost hardened, but it was firmed into a wiggly curvy shape, which was perfect!

Noodle Face: This was a total cop-out last-minute idea. She kept asking for macaroni and cheese, and I still had some spiral noodles with powdered cheese sauce left over from ages ago a recent lunch. They look kind of like hair, and I had originally purchased them last October to make a noodle monster face, but ended up using leftover spaghetti. I got the sugar eyes and lips from Bake It Pretty. I was so excited I finally got to use them! I ordered pink, yellow and blue eyes in small and large sizes. At the time, they were out of the white ones. And I've been staring at them and staring at them for months now! Hooray! I let Little Z chose the color, and she picked the yellow ones.

"Cupcakes": Same idea as for my Pinkalicious ones, only I opted for chocolate (Nutella) ones this time, on the premise that they'd be easier. They were easier. I didn't have to mix anything, and the Nutella flowed out of the icing tip and stuck to the sandwich rolls like a pro. Also stuck to absolutely anything it so much as looked at as well.
 Instead of the Pampered Chef decorator bottles, this time I just used the screw cap and tip. I cut a hole in the corner of a cheapie sandwich bag, stuck the screw-lid with icing tip inside, then screwed the piece that secures the tip on from the outside. Just as messy, and with more Nutella wasted than the decorator bottle, but soooooo much easier to clean up. I just threw away the bag and hand washed the parts, rather than hand-washig the parts and the accordion-bottle with ten-bazillion little crevices for icing to get stuck!

I think the pink ones turned out better, and it was probably the "cherries" on top that made all the difference. But I just wasn't in the mood to leave everything unattended with Little Miss Snackerjaw long enough to find something. So I let her choose from my sprinkles stash. She chose green and yellow sugar first, but they didn't show up well, so then I gave her some rainbow jimmies.
She's eating a lollipop she earned for using the potty.
About 5 hours before. Yeah. It takes her a while.
And she rarely gives up on a piece of candy.

Cheerio-nuts: I first saw Cheerios donuts in a magazine ages ago, but I couldn't find it again. So I found this link here to show you what the original idea was. I decided to just try Nutella instead of chocolate syrup, and was going to do cream cheese for white frosting. And then I saw the PB in the cupboard and thought of maple bars. So I did PB and Nutella ones, with nonpareils.They were such a pain in the heinie, I decided to scrap trying cream cheese ones. Oh, don't get me wrong. They were a breeze to make. But they stuck. to. everything. And the slightest breeze or jostle would knock them over, and they'd stick to the sides of the cup. Then to my fingers, then to the side of the cup, etc. And for every one I got repositioned, two more would fall off. I had to fix them three times just while trying to take pictures. Guess the joke was on me, with this one!

She was actually able to suck her yogurt through the straw. She loved it!
Second stop: Noodle face. I hadn't even told her that the eyes were candy. She was super excited about her macaroni!
She got a blob of "frosting" on her face. Too cute!
She practically licked her plate [Fine. Muffin cups.] clean, leaving only the carrots (she said they got too sticky) and a total of one sandwich roll (sans frosting) in various little chunks.

Oh nuts. I totally forgot I was going to try and make a pile of stringed string cheese look like spaghetti. Ah well.

Check out the other fun Muffin Tin Meals this week!
Muffin Tin Monday at

Tools: In addition to the decorator bottle tip, I used my Wilton Silly Feet cups, a sproingy plastic cup from a Sneaky Chef Sweet Treat Eats set -- read my review on Amazon!] and some chicken feet cups from Ross, Marshall's or TJ Maxx (have seen them at all 3.) Monster plate was from Target's after-Halloween clearance, and plastic cup from Ikea. Love Ikea's Kalas dishes. Microwave safe (unlike the melamine ones,) dishwasher safe, no paint rubbing off over time possibly onto the food (unlike the melamine) and super cheap ($2/6!) And they are small, but plenty of room for food (the bowls hold the same amount of cereal as her (MUCH more expensive) melamine ones from Crocodile Creek, but take up half the shelf-space, because they are slightly deeper and don't have the lip around the edge.) They don't break when dropped, and stack compactly on the shelves. Bright, appealing colors. She loves them. When I tell Z to get a dish from her cupboard, she always grabs an Ikea one, over her melamine bowls and plates, and plastic restaurant kiddie cups.


  1. I like the cheerio-nut idea. Might try that, thought it does look like a pain!

  2. I think the original idea (in the link) is probably easier. I was just too lazy to bust open a bag of powdered sugar.

  3. Or use tweezers. I would have killed for a pair of tweezers that could go wide enough to pick them up. My fingers have a much larger surface area for everything to stick too. Plus a more stickable surface. Maybe I should have dusted my fingers with flour or powdered sugar first. What a pain.

  4. I love the noodle face! This meal is so cute!

  5. I love the Cheerio donuts! And I tend to thrive on things that are a right pain in the butt, so I might have to get me some tweezers and give this a shot...!

  6. Those Cheerio doughnuts are a real hoot! We had fun creating an April Fool's Meal too.

  7. Oh my gosh, this is the cutest meal, I love all these ideas, i love the pasta with a face, i love all cute cups with feet!!

  8. OMG! Those cupcake sandwiches are too cute! Very creative.

  9. Maybe that should be a bloggy challenge next year...main meal to look like dessert. Anyway, very nice tin. I like the worm in the berries, fun!

  10. WAY stinkin cute - I love your April fools theme! and you did a fantastic job! - sooooo creative! Way to go, I think it turned out amazing!


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